Change. Growth. Metamorphosis.

Recently, life has left me in a time and space where I’ve had to reconsider who and what allows me to grow versus holds me back. What I desire are roots, not anchors. I need to be nourished, not deprived. I’ve had to retreat into myself and reconfigure my welfare, physically and emotionally.

This doesn’t mean, however, that I am immune to heartache; it’s omnipresent and actively shaping who I’m becoming each day. One does not get to just decide to not be in pain, but, with time and effort, can move forward from it.

My need to step back and reflect has been misconstrued by some as thriving in a sheltered cocoon. Now, I love a good metaphor, but you have to interpret it correctly.

To use the metaphor that I live in a sheltered cocoon – with no concept of life’s harsh realities – is meant as an insult but is scientifically nonsensical. If you understand the reality of the metamorphosis process, however,  a simultaneously strikingly apt and complimentary metaphor metamorphocizes (meta, huh?). 

It’s easy to picture a fat little caterpillar curl up into a cozy cocoon, yawn, then sleep away the unpleasantries of adolescence, waking on the other side with a quick stretch and beautiful, fluorescent wings, ready to fly.

But – that’s not how it works outside of cartoons.

The process of metamorphosis is, in all actuality, grimy. A caterpillar instinctually realizes it must weave itself a cocoon in which it will exist while it grows, but it doesn’t take a quick snooze. Before it emerges as a beautiful butterfly, it must first break itself down into a primordial soup. Quite literally, it dissolves itself into a caterpillar ooze, which I can’t imagine is too peaceful. Yet, it’s altogether relatable. Personal growth requires discomfort and change, breaking oneself down to transform into something or someone new.

If you’re going to use this metaphor against me, I’m going to take it back. As a metaphor, it is spot on when considered from a scientific viewpoint. Sometimes, we have to remove ourselves from what we have known, break ourselves down, and change. I can’t be a caterpillar forever. I am not coddled safely in my cocoon; I am digesting myself and disintegrating into an amorphous mess, soon to transform. 

Consider this my “metaphor-phosis.” No one else gets to write my metaphors; they are my own to compose – and edit – as I see fit.

I will emerge from my chrysalis when my wings have developed, and I’m ready to soar.

Only those with patience, those who wish me a monarch – not a moth, will behold my splendor.

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